Publication Details

Technical Paper TP10

The Importance of Verifiable Fire Protection Design

Authors: S Medonos, Petrellus Ltd, P Geddes, Global Solutions (UK) Ltd. Proceedings of International Conference Rio Oil and Gas 2004 Expo and Conference, 4-7 October, 2004, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and CISAP-2: 2nd International Conference on Safety and Environment in Process Industry, May 21-24, 2006, Naples, Italy.


Simplistic methods of fire protection design based on the Hp/A ratio between the heated surface area and volume or a 2-dimensional analysis may be sufficient for the determination of fire protection coatings for simple components. For the optimisation of fire protection of pressure systems and load bearing structures, however, they have proved to be inadequate, as they do not represent the response taking place. This often leads to over-protection or inadequate fire resistance. In the past 10 years there have been claims in petrochemical industry of “methods” for fire protection “optimisation” based on a walk-down through a platform topside or a refinery plant, or a heat-up calculation of a few cross sections with no regard to stress. These methods are wrong. In the best case these “methods of optimisation” lead to high unnecessary costs and in the worst case in an explosion of a vessel, structural collapse, domino effects and cataclysmic fire throughout the plant. The operator or design contractor should always require a Method Statement including a proof of verification to obtain the adequate quality of fire protection.

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